Artist Focus: Jon Adams

29 September, 2015


Portsmouth based Jon Adams is a cross platform artist using image, word, sound, performance and public art to explore themes of autobiography, science and hidden metaphor.

Adams has Asperger’s Syndrome and synaesthesia, which affords him a unique perspective on the world and influences his work both artistically and practically. Actively involved in arts policy and the debates around diversity and inclusivity, he works to involve neuro-atypical people in the arts and to show his condition as an asset rather than a difficulty.

Jon Adams previously held a post as Artist in Residence at the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge where he set out to investigate his own Asperger’s Syndrome through conversations, observations and experiments. He has also worked with esteemed psychologist Simon Baron Cohen in his work to establish autism as being on a continuum in the general population, and to re-contextualise some of the features of autism – such as obsessions and repetition – are in fact highly useful and a sign of a different way of thinking.

Adams worked in commercial illustration for twenty years before branching out into independent work and fine art. He is currently a research fellow in Disability Arts at the University of Portsmouth.


For Frequency ‘15, Adams presents Democracy Street; a national collaborative arts project commissioned by the Houses of Parliament which takes the form of a mobile app, allowing users to help develop an interactive map that highlights the importance of democracy. Users can upload photos, create their own artwork and websites and gain digital badges which award various levels of engagement and learning. The project aims to increase involvement and engagement in both the arts and politics.

“Democracy Street highlights the importance that democracy plays in all our lives. From Winston Churchill Avenue in Portsmouth and Suffrage Street (near Ballot Street) in Smethwick to Magna Carta Lane in Staines, our democratic heritage has shaped streets across the UK.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.56.02

Democracy Street: Track down the MP who put your road on the map via The Guardian

Feature on The Creators Project



Previous research project by Jon Adams

Konfirm, Jon Adams residency, Autism Research Centre from The Arts Catalyst on Vimeo.

Jon Adams will be providing two guided walks to accompany the work on Thursday 29th October. Book your place on the guided walk HERE


Visit Democracy Street 

Visit Jon Adams
Artist Twitter & Project Twitter

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